I am writing you at a time when the nation is grappling with a global pandemic. Whilesimultaneously gearing itself for a phased reopening of the economy and preparing for lifebeyond
Covid-19. Further simmering tensions along northern borders has precipitated ananti-china sentiment within the this is a great opportunity for the indian industry tominimize our external dependencies and enhance self-reliance.
It has been several months since the pandemic engulfed the world and there is a lot ofuncertainty with respect to the extent of economic contraction due to this crisis and thesubsequent pace of recovery. As the world emerges from the current crisis the next fewyears are likely to be marked by lack of buoyancy in growth subdued inflation a cautioustrend in project investments al uncertainty. Politic heightened risks of de-globalisationand
Covid-19struck india at a time economic conditions were subdued enormous efforts touncertainty and stress in the domestic financial and the associated lockdowns acrosscountries has triggered a once-in-a-century crisis for the society and the economy in2020. This is a defining period in human and business history: one that will test theresilience of individuals corporations and against this backdrop a stringent nationallockdown to slow the spread of the pandemic started in the last week of march 20 andremained active to varying degrees in different geographies through most of q1 of fy21.Approx. 80 % of the india's gdp originates from the districts which were classified as redand orange zones during the lockdown where economic activity remained severelyconstrained. India's gdp is likely to contract in fy21 and the contraction will be moresevere in q1.
Responding to this challenge both the reserve bank of india and government of indiaannounced several policy measures to provide relief to the affected sections of the ofbusiness failures and to support the process of recovery.
In these turbulent and dynamic times ace near term focus is to see through theturbulence by conservation of cash maintaining it's leadership positionin the cranebusiness safety of its team and assets and strengthening its business relationship.
After witnessing a healthy revenue growth of 23% in fy19 we exhibited a decline inrevenue in this financial year. The demand was sluggish during h1fy20 and was furtherexacerbated by the general economic slowdown. The second half of the fiscal witnessedextended monsoons low capital expenditure on infrastructure and road activities sectors.The improving demand since december 2019 could not be sustained due to the outbreak ofcovid-19. Despite de-growth across all the four sectors we operate in we at ace were ableto increase our ebita and pat margins with strategic focus and optimized resources.
Tough times can be overwhelming. There are some who gets intimated and wait for stormsto subside. Yet there are others who resolve to fight despite the odds. They continue toseek challenges. They keep pushing harder and remain persistent. This is what we at acedid in fy20. The nature of disruption was such that even the most robust players felt theheat. Starting from the liquidity crisis country. I believe to slowing macro economy weakeconomic sentiments tough real estate scenario and finally the outbreak of covid-19pandemic.
The going only got tougher.
At ace we stood our ground. We persistently handled the pressure of short-term withoutlosing sight of the long-term. We strengthened our market position while undertakinginitiatives for the betterment of all stakeholders.
Covid 19 pandemic and its fallout make it difficult to forecast the future with degreeof certainty. While we are hopeful that 2nd half of fy 2020-21 will have bettereconomic and business activity in terms of good liquidity revival of constructionactivities of migrant labours and restoration of supply chain it would be premature topredict the company's business outcomes for fy on account of heightened global2020-21.weare putting the impact system. Covid-19 of the pandemic and remain positive.
Given the fog of uncertainty all around it is hard to predict the companies withquality leadership outcome. in these conditions nations. Sound business fundamentals anda track record of winning in turbulent times will emerge as champions. Given yourcompany's inherent strengths and financial stability i am confident that ace will emergestronger from this global crisis.
We all are passing through a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and i would like tothank the ace team our customers vendors and other stakeholders for the confidence andtrust they have reposed on us. I also thank my fellow board members for the invaluablesupport in guiding the company.